After I had photographed several women for the campaign, my friend asked me when I was going to do self-portraits and write my own thoughts. It hadn’t even occurred to me, but of course I needed to! This is an important issue to me, to exist in beautiful photographs for me and for everyone who loves me, no matter my age, weight, wrinkles, etc.
I began this campaign after years of listening to women over 50 tell me that they feel invisible and no longer worthy to exist in photos. I want to celebrate the lives and beauty of women over 50. I believe that one person can make a difference in the world, but there are photographers all over the world doing this now, and together we can make a greater difference.
I think women continue to gain knowledge and power throughout our lives. But we are continually fed a line that with age, we must start fixing things! We must buy and do all the anti-aging things, and if we don’t, we’re doing something wrong. We need to push back because we are beautiful and valuable, just the way we are (and no matter how we change).
Since I turned 50, I’ve gotten better about interrupting the negative self-talk; I try to appreciate myself more. (Isn’t my white hair amazing? I love my naturally downturned mouth! Plus, I’m super-smart! ha).
When I was growing up, there were several women who influenced me in various ways. Beatrix Potter and Queen Elizabeth are on the list! My grandmother was the main one. She was an artist who exhibited her work all over the world. I spent a lot of time with her. She taught me that you really can choose what’s important to you, no matter what anyone else thinks of it. She had an old farmhouse with lots of small rooms and a barn. One day she told me that she was getting rid of all of her furniture so we could turn her entire house into studio spaces. In one room, we would smash dishes together and create mosaics. In another, we would do watercolors and drawing. My grandmother recognized how important art was to me. Starting when I was nine, she would frequently help me turn her only bathroom into a darkroom for the day. When I was a teenager, I took a welding class so I could make sculptures in her barn. I didn’t care that I was the only girl in class because I was on a mission, and those kinds of decisions were always supported by her. She would really like my studio now!
I like to help people with my work. I want to raise the perception of power of the people I photograph, in their own eyes, as well as in the eyes of others. I am also interested in creating connections between the subject and viewer, creating images that invite the viewer to look closer. A closer look creates empathy, and empathy brings people together.
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If you are a woman over 50, “Unforgettable: the Over 50 Revolution is for you”. It’s for everyone who loves you, and for other women of all ages, to show them that they are worthy, too. I hope you’ll join me in this revolutionary experience. You can find out more HERE.